EYRE : Nottingham and Aston, Birmingham
My great-great-great-grandfather was John Eyre, a silk stocking weaver of Nottingham, born about 1782.  He was probably the son of William Eyre, a hosier, recorded as residing at High Pavement in a poll book of 1818.  

John Eyre married Jane Warrener at St Mary’s, Nottingham, on 28 February 1814  (see end note) and their oldest son was my great-great-grandfather William, who was born on 6 September 1814 in St Mary’s parish and  baptised at George Street Particular Baptist church.

Their other children included John (born 28 Sept 1816), Ann (23 Feb 1819), Jane (25 July 1822), Thomas and Hannah (both baptised 5 May 1828) and Samuel (baptised 17 Jan 1831, died in infancy).

St Mary’s parish register gives the family’s abode as Plumtree Place for the baptisms of Hannah and Thomas, and Barker Gate for the baptism of Samuel.

William Eyre baptism, Nottingham 1814

John Eyre died of ‘inflammation of the bowels’ on 12 January 1839 aged 56. The death certificate gives his address as Shoulder of Mutton Yard, Barker Gate, in the parish of Saint Mary, Nottingham, and his occupation as framework knitter. Present at the death was John Warrener, probably his brother-in-law, of Freeman Street, St Mary’s.  The Nottingham Review of 1st February carried his obituary: “On the 12th ult. aged 55, Mr John Eyre, Barker-gate, leaving a widow and six children”.

On the 1841 census John Eyre’s widow and family were living in Pierrepont Street, Snenton:
Jane Eyre, aged 50, lacemaker
William, son, 25, framework knitter
Ann, daughter, 20, lacemaker
Jane, 15
Thomas, 15, cotton spinner
Hannah, 10 (born c.1828).

On the 1851 census Jane Eyre, aged 63, was living with her youngest child, Hannah, aged 23, a hose mender, at Manvers Street, Snenton. Jane died here later the same year, on 21 November, aged 63. The cause of death was fever/bronchitis, and Ann Eyre (probably her daughter) of Pomfret Street was present at the death. She was buried at St Mary’s on 26 November.
Jane’s daughter Ann Eyre married Edward Whittley in 1855.  There were no surviving children, and Ann died in 1873. 

Jane’s son William Eyre married Eliza Bembridge at Snenton parish church, Nottingham, on 15 May 1842. The marriage certificate shows them both full age, living at Queen Street, Nottingham; William’s occupation is given as framework knitter (probably making silk hosiery), and his deceased father as John Eyre, also a frame-work knitter. Eliza’s father is shown as William Bembridge, a labourer, likewise deceased. The witnesses to William and Eliza’s marriage were Thomas Bembridge and Ann Topham.

On the 1851 census they were recorded living at 7 Mill Street in the parish of St Mary, Nottingham: William Eyre, aged 36, framework knitter, and Eliza Eyre, aged 37, cotton doubler, born at Darley, Derbyshire. There were no children.

The couple thereafter moved away from Nottingham, and in 1857, the year his son William Warrener Eyre was born, William Eyre was toll-gate keeper at Quinton Gate, Ridgacre, Halesowen.

Quinton tollhouse, Ridgacre, Halesowen, where my great-grandfather William Eyre was born 1857

By the time of the 1861 census the family had moved to the Turnpike House, 3 Brettle Lane, Brierley Hill, and are recorded as William Eyre, aged 46, born Nottingham; Eliza Eyre, aged 47, born Darley, Derbyshire; and William Warrener Eyre, aged 3, born Ridgacre, Worcestershire.

Eliza Eyre died on 9 February 1866 at the Lying In Hospital, Broad Street, Birmingham.  A death notice published in the Birmingham Daily Gazette on Monday 19 February, reads: “EYRE on the 9th inst. At the Lying In Hospital, after much suffering, Eliza Eyre, Moseley Toll Gate, aged 52 lamented by a large circle of friends.”

William Warrener Eyre was baptised on 8 July 1866 at St Mary’s church, Lichfield, when he was nine years old. The baptism entry shows his father’s occupation as toll gate keeper, and their address as Upper St John’s Street, Lichfield.

William Warrener Eyre baptism, Lichfield 1866

William senior remarried at Lichfield on 17 January 1867 to a relation of his wife’s, Harriett Bembridge – see below. Both gave their address as St John’s Street, Lichfield. On their marriage certificate the bridegroom’s occupation appears as a clerk of works, and his father’s occupation as a silk weaver. The witnesses were William Bembridge and M.Carter.

By the time of the 1871 census, William Eyre had become toll collector at Perry Bar, Handsworth, Birmingham, living at the toll-gate house:
William Eyre, head, aged 56, toll collector, born Nottingham
Harriett, wife, aged 39, born Basford, Notts
William W., son, aged 13, born Hales Owen, Worcs.

Perry Barr toll about 1870. William Eyre, on left, was tollkeeper. His second wife Harriet Bembridge and son William stand behind in doorway.

After the toll-gate was removed in 1879, William subsequently worked as a news agent and then coal agent. He died aged 66 on 18 June 1880 at 31 Witton Terrace, Witton, Handsworth (adjacent to Villa Park football ground). His wife Harriett was present at the death. The certificate shows him as a coal agent, and the cause of death as ‘disease of the liver, cirrhosis 2 years. Haemorrhage from bowels 1 month’, certified by George Yates M.R.C.S.

The funeral was held at St John’s, Perry Barr, on 22 June 1880, and he was buried in Witton cemetery.

Perry Barr tollhouse before the gates were removed in 1879. My grandmother was born here in 1888

His son, my great-grandfather, William Warrener Eyre, was born on 3 June 1857 at Quinton Gate, Ridgacre, Halesowen. He worked as a toll-gate keeper and carpenter, and is listed in Hulleys Birmingham Directory, 1882: William Eyre, Toll Gate, Birchfield ( – the old toll gates were removed in 1879).

He married Alice Anderton on 30 June 1879 at Christ Church, Sparkbrook, Birmingham. On their marriage certificate both were shown living at Stratford Road. William’s father was given as William Eyre, a newsagent; Alice’s father was given as William Anderton, a gardener. Their witnesses were Alice’s half-brother Robert Dabbs and half-sister Annie Rose (née Anderton).

Their first child may have been Annie Eliza, who was born during the December quarter of 1879 and died during the following quarter.

On the 1881 census, the family was living at 8 Court 3 House, High Street, Aston, Birmingham:
William Eyre, head, aged 23, born Halesowen; carpenter
Alice, wife, aged 23, born Hall Green
William H., son, aged 5 months, born Aston (William Henry)
Alice J., daughter, aged 5 months, born Aston (Alice Julia).

My grandmother, Annie Eliza Eyre, was born on 23 August 1888. She disliked the name Eliza and always called herself Annie Elizabeth.

By 1891 the family had moved to 15 Wilton Street, Aston, and the household was recorded on that year’s census as:
William Eyre, head, aged 33, born Halesowen; carpenter
Alice, wife, aged 33, born Yardley
*William Hy., son, aged 10, born Aston
Herbert Jno., son, aged 8, born Aston
Anne E., daughter, aged 2, born Aston
Robert Dabbs, brother-in-law, single, aged 45, born Wellington, Shrops; labourer (Alice’s half-brother).

*On the 1891 census, young William Henry’s twin, 10-year-old Alice Julia, was visiting Annie and Henry Rose at High Chimneys farm, Tanworth-in-Arden.

In 1894 the Eyre family was living at 5 Leonard Road, Aston Manor. My great-grandmother Alice died here of pneumonia, aged 40, on 10 November 1897. On the death certificate her husband William was described as a carpenter journeyman.

By the time the 1901 census was taken, the family was still living at 5 Leonard Road:
William Eyre, head, aged 43, born Quinton, Worcs; carpenter
William, son, aged 20, born Aston; turner in bicycle trade
Alice, daughter, aged 20, born Aston; wrapper warehouse trade
Herbert J., son, aged 18, born Aston; jeweller (Herbert John)
Annie E., daughter, aged 12, born Aston
Arthur J., son, aged 7, born Aston (Arthur James)
Harriett Clement, widowed step-mother, aged 69, born Hysons Green, Nottinghamshire.

• On the 1881 census Harriett Clement is recorded as Harriett Eyre, a widow, aged 49, born Hysons Green, Nottingham, a visitor at the household of Edward Brown, jeweller, of Rifle Crescent, Aston. She had been christened on 26 February 1832 at Radford, Nottingham, the daughter of Samuel Bembridge and Sarah (nee Rogers), who married at Radford on 30 July 1828. By the time of the 1851 census, Harriett Bembridge had moved to Lichfield, where she was working as a general servant, aged 19, in the household of a retired victualler. On the 1861 she was still there, working as cook. She married William Eyre snr in 1867, and three years after his death in 1880, she married Arthur Clement, a 63-year-old widower from Lichfield who on the 1881 census was living at Potters Hill, Aston. On the 1891 census he was described as aged 71, born Lichfield, and pensioned from the Post Office; and Harriett was shown as aged 59 and born at Hyson Green. Their address was 15 Bevington Road, Aston. Arthur Clement died at Aston in 1893.  Harriett herself died towards the end of 1918, aged 86.

My great-grandfather William Eyre was an early member of the Aston Villa football club, established at a nearby meadow, the old Perry Barr ground, in 1874 as a winter sport for members of the local Wesleyan Church cricket club. The team used a room at the Old Crown and Cushion, opposite the toll-gate, as a dressing room. 

After the death in 1897 of his first wife Alice (née Anderton) William Eyre remarried in 1903 to Clara Jones. My grandmother Annie Eliza didn’t get on with her new stepmother and went to live with her sister Alice, who lived at Six Ways, Birmingham (just below Perry Barr). Alice married William Capewell in 1901 and had several children including a daughter, Winifred, who had twins.

The 1911 census records my grandmother living in the Capewell household at 3 back of 187 Guildford Street, Lozells, Aston Manor. She was then aged 22 and employed as a press worker. The census also records her father, William Eyre, a carpenter aged 52, living at 5 Leonard Road, Aston Manor, with his second wife Clara, aged 48, son Arthur James, a jeweller (solderer) aged 18 (died in 1918), and stepmother Harriett Clement, aged 79.

William Eyre died of pneumonia and heart failure on 16 February 1930, aged 72. Place of death was Dudley Road Hospital, Birmingham, and the death certificate gives his address as 5 Leonard Road. His occupation is shown as ‘old age pensioner, formerly a builder’s carpenter’. Present at the death was his eldest daughter, Alice Capewell, of 3 back of 187 Guildford Street.

His son, Herbert John Eyre, who worked as a jeweller’s mounter, had married Mary Ann Stevens at St Silas’s church, Lozell, on 18 Sept 1904 and had one child, Lilian (Lillie) Doris, born in 1906.  In 1915, when he was 33, and living at 3/51 Lennox Street, Hockley, Herbert enlisted in the ASCMT (Army Service Corps). He died at Birmingham in 1929, aged 46.  His brother, Arthur James Eyre, had died in 1918, aged 25.

Annie Eyre (my grandmother) married John Thomas Glover at Birmingham Unitarian Domestic Mission Church, Hurst Street, on 8 April 1916. The wedding certificate gives the bridegroom’s age as 34, his occupation as engineer’s fitter, and shows his father, a mechanical engineer, as deceased. The bride’s age is given as 27, her occupation as motor lamp press worker, and her father’s occupation as carpenter. The witnesses were Lilian Maud Glover, sister of the bridegroom, and William Eyre, brother of the bride.

Bride and groom gave their address as 32 Vaughton Street South, Birmingham, family home of the bridegroom. This was not because they were living together but because it meant they had to pay only one parish church, not two, to publish the banns.

My grandmother Annie Eliza Glover née Eyre died at Wolverhampton on 15 June 1971, just short of her 83rd birthday.

My brief biography of William Eyre can be read on the Quinton Local History Society’s web site at

John Eyre married Jane Warrener at St Peter’s church, Nottingham, on 28 February 1814. 

Jane had been baptised in the parish of St Nicholas, Nottingham, on 16 March 1789, the daughter of William Warrener (or Warriner), a framework knitter, and his wife Lydia Vintin, who had married on 3 October 1781 at St Peter’s, Nottingham. Other children included John (25 July 1784), Lydia (17 Nov 1786), William (30 July 1791 – died), Mary (29 June 1793 – died), Emmelor (Amelia?) (16 Oct 1798), William (3 Jan 1801), and Mary (28 Jan 1803).

William Warrener made a deathbed Will on 3 October 1820, leaving all his personal estate to his wife Lydia, and was buried on 6 October in the Baptist burial ground in Bearwood Lane (now Mount Street). Lydia joined him there not many years later, being buried in the same ground on 23 January 1829, aged 69.

The death certificate of John Eyre in 1839 names his brother-in-law John Warrener, a lace-maker of Freeman Street, St Mary’s, as present at the death. The 1841 census gives John Warrener’s age as 55, his wife Sarah as 50, son William, an apprentice hosier, as 19, and daughter Eliza as 13.

John Warrener had married Sarah Baguley* at St Mary’s on 18 June 1820. Their children included Henry, Joseph and William, all baptised at George Street Particular Baptist church 6 Mar 1822; John, bp at St Mary’s 20 Mar 1826; and Eliza, bp there 16 June 1828. Father’s occupation is shown in the register as lace-maker, abode Beck Lane.

*Sarah Baguley had been a witness to the marriage of John Eyre and Jane Warrener in 1814.